Twitter Tool Rival Instagram, Facebook Starts Privacy Tours

Would you use a photo filtering app from Twitter?  Would you be happy to have a privacy tour from Facebook?  Or would you be delighted to see sepia-toned disaster photos?  These are just some of the things happening in the social media sphere right now.  Let’s take a quick tour of the space to find out the latest.


The microblogging site is said to be adding photo filtering features to their mobile applications soon in an effort to compete with the Facebook-owned Instagram.  You can’t deny how popular photo editing or filtering apps are these days, and if you can’t buy it like Facebook did, you might as well build it from scratch.

Right now, Twitter users often use Instagram to post their photo effects on the microblogging site, but as with most popular features driven by a third party service, Twitter will eventually try to own the feature themselves.

Twitter is also said to be working on a mobile app that would allow users to directly upload and edit videos without having to use third party services such as YouTube.


If you haven’t signed up for a Facebook account yet or you want to make another account, you’ll be surprised to find out that the social networking giant is now giving visitors a privacy tour.  The change took effect on Friday as it complies with privacy laws imposed by the Irish Data Protection Commissioner.

The Irish data protection office is in charge of the 818 million Facebook users who live outside of the United States and Canada, and conducted an audit last year of how the social network complied with privacy laws in Ireland and the European Union.

Recommendations to improve privacy include better controls for personal data and links to privacy policies during the member registration process.

“At Facebook, we’re committed to making sure people understand how to control what they share and with whom,” Facebook Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan said in a statement. “We appreciate the guidance we’ve received from the Irish Data Protection Commissioner’s Office as we strive to highlight the many resources and tools we offer to help people control their information on Facebook.”


Twitter may be copycatting Instagram with a photo-effect tool of its own, and for good reason.  The photo-sharing network has gained the adoration of millions, from users and brands alike.  Time Magazine was one publication to leverage Instagram, using the site to cover the devastating result of Hurricane Sandy’s onslaught.  Time’s director of photography, Kira Pollack, said it was important to get photos to readers as quickly as possible.

Though the photos look intriguing, was using a photo filtering tool insensitive?  As Gizmondo’s Sam Biddle said in his post, images of the aftermath of Sandy need not be enhanced as they are already grim.

“The reality of a natural disaster is shocking and compelling enough without augmenting its color,” Biddle stated.  “A flooded supermarket or a demolished apartment don’t need boosted contrast. They stand on their own. Their mood needs no enhancing—the mood is dark enough.”

And I completely agree with that.  How would you feel seeing your destroyed house on Instagram with a sepia tone?  Or the contrast was enhanced?  Do you really think that Sandy victims would really appreciate your “artistic” touch?  I don’t think so.   AFter all, Instagram isn’t the only way to get photos to readers in a timely manner, and the melodramatic touch Instagram effects add give Time’s move a marketing overtone that isn’t sitting well with everyone.